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Missing from solo sail


JUNE 13 A prominent publisher and former diplomat was still missing Monday after his sailboat was found Saturday night crewless and drifting on the Chesapeake Bay.

Maryland state and federal authorities searched 100 square miles of the bay for Philip Merrill, who is 72, news reports say. Authorities believe Merrill, who is said to be an experienced sailor, fell overboard since they found his wallet on board and say there is no damage to the 41-foot sailboat. “The sails were up and the engine was on,” Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Adam Mach says in a report. Merrill is not believed to have been wearing a PFD.

A small-craft advisory was issued for the bay on Saturday, calling for 20- to 25-knot winds and 3-foot seas, news reports say. Authorities said their continued search for Merrill would depend on factors such as estimated survivability based on the temperature of the water, which was about 60 degrees.

Merrill is chairman of the board of Capital-Gazette Communications Inc., which publishes Washingtonian magazine, The Capital , and five other Maryland newspapers, reports say. In 2002 President Bush appointed Merrill president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. His term ended last summer.

— Jason Fell